Roy Turner on Surf Expo Cancellation and What’s Next
SES followed up with Surf Expo Show Director Roy Turner to find out more about the decision to cancel the show due to Hurricane Dorian, what it means for brands who already paid booth fees, and if Surf Expo is considering moving future show dates out of hurricane season.
Why did you decide to cancel?
Surf Expo Show Director Roy Turner: Surf Expo plays an important role in the surf and gift market and so we were mindful of the impact that we would have on the community if we cancelled the show. But the safety of our customers, our staff and all those involved in the show was the most important consideration. Obviously, the impact of a storm the size of Dorian on logistics and travel comes into play, but safety is always front of mind in making any decision to cancel.
What happens with exhibitors who have already paid for their space?
Roy Turner: Exhibitors will be reimbursed for 100% of their booth space fees paid to Surf Expo (Emerald Expositions) through our event cancellation insurance policy.
In addition, for the 2019 Surf Expo, we secured supplemental insurance to cover out-of-pocket expenses that our exhibitors incur in connection with a cancellation, up to two times their booth costs. We are working diligently and closely with the insurance carriers to determine the approved payout level.
Will the show be rescheduled?
Roy Turner: The show will not be rescheduled, but we will work to provide ways to connect buyers and sellers over the next several weeks.
How will this impact the business side of Surf Expo?
Roy Turner: Like most of our customers who service coastal communities, we understand the weather risks associated with doing business in beach environments.
We will look to take care of the best interests of our customers in the short term and turn our focus to our next event in January, planning for which is well underway.
Given the September show dates line up with hurricane season, is there any talk of moving the show to new dates or locations in the future?
Roy Turner: In short, the answer is yes. We will be reaching out to our customers and attendees over the next several weeks to ask for their input and to develop a consensus on the needs of the market, particularly as regards the timing of the Summer/Fall show.
Is there anything else you’d like to add or say?
Roy Turner: I encourage everyone to take the time to consider a small donation to those impacted from the storm. The Bahamas have been ravaged and the storm’s current path will affect business all along the East Coast.
We are very disappointed that we were not able to host this edition of Surf Expo. Almost 7,000 buyers were pre-registered to see more than 800 exhibiting companies, showing how important Surf Expo is to the market.
For now, our thoughts and prayers go out to our friends who have been affected by the storm and we are sending positive thoughts for the storm to stay off the coast as it moves forward this week.
Editor’s note: Emerald Exposition, which owns Surf Expo and is publicly traded, notified investors about the cancellation in a filing today. Because of insurance coverage, the company does not expect the cancellation to materially impact Adjusted EBITDA for the full year.
“We did not come to this decision lightly,” CEO Sally Shankland said in the statement. “We have been carefully following the progression of Hurricane Dorian for many days and came to the conclusion that it is completely untenable to stage any part of the 2019 Surf Expo show. We have an obligation to provide a safe environment with respect to all aspects of our events and we simply cannot contemplate exposing people to potentially life threatening weather conditions by keeping the show open and expecting the industry to participate.”